Start The Presses: Papers Cut Into Broadcast TV Ad Market Share

Driven by a surge in demand from national advertisers, the U.S. newspaper industry turned the corner on its advertising recession in 2003, growing its advertising volume at a moderate rate overall, but enough to outpace the broadcast TV industry, according to a MediaDailyNews analysis of data released by the newspaper and broadcast TV industries this week.

Final 2003 ad market share data is not yet available for all media, but the numbers released this week by the Newspaper Association of American and the Television Bureau of Advertising show newspaper ad volume expanding at about four times the rate of broadcast TV, albeit both at relatively modest rates.

The newspaper ad expansion was enough to preserve the newspaper industry's dominant position relative to broadcast TV ad market share, but a margin of $2.5 billion in 2003. When cable TV ad volume figures are finalized , however, TV advertising will continue to come out on top as Madison Avenue's No. 1 ad medium for the year.



Newspapers Boost Ad Market Share Vs. Broadcast TV

2003 2002 Change
Newspaper $44.9 billion $44.1 billion +1.9%
Broadcast TV $42.4 billion $42.1 billion +0.5%

Source: Newspaper Association of America Analysis And Research Department, The Television Bureau of Advertising analysis of data from TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

The figures are more than bragging rights for each medium. They reflect the strategic thinking of national and local marketers and the orientation of the media planning mix from advertising agencies. Despite modest shifts, the data are revealing an overall pattern of relative stability in Madison Avenue's media mix, despite declarations that ad agencies and marketers have begun challenging their conventional thinking about how to use media and which media to use.

One pattern that is becoming evident within the newspaper industry, is a pronounced upturn in demand among national advertisers. National ad spending surged 8.1 percent in 2003, enough to offset relatively flat demand from retail advertisers and modest erosion among classified advertisers to push total newspaper ad volume up 1.9 percent for the year. Significantly, classified - the laggard newspaper ad category throughout the newspaper ad recession and the one many believe to be an important forward indicator not just of the health of the newspaper industry but of the vitality of the overall U.S. economy - expanded 1.7 percent during the fourth quarter.

"Improvement in the labor market will boost the classified category this year," said NAA Vice President of Business Analysis and Research Jim Conaghan.

Q4, Full Year '03 Newspaper Ad Spending (In Billions)

Retail National Classified Total
Q4 2004 Dollars: $6.2 $2.1 $4.8 $13.1
Vs. Q4 2003: +1.7% +7.5% +1.7% +2.6%

Full Year '04: $21.3 $7.8 $15.8 $44.9
Vs. Full Year'04: +1.7% +8.1% -0.6% +1.9%

Source: Newspaper Association of America Analysis And Research Department.
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